Updated: Apr 15
In 2015, Gallup and Purdue University published a report addressing the question: Is college worth it? While this report was from 2015, the results are still relevant today.
Over half of the survey respondents strongly agree that their college education was worth the cost:
The study found no significant differences when looking at perceptions of college education being worth the cost across race or first-generation students. The study did find that graduates working in professional fields such as engineering and law where the most likely to strongly agree with the statement.
The research team applied a logistic regression model to explore specific collegiate experience factors influencing an alumni feeling their education being worth the cost. As a side note, Twokin Consulting is skilled in statistical analysis and data analytics. The results showed:
1.9x higher if “My professors cared about be as a person.”
1.9x higher if “I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue by goals and dreams.”
1.8x higher if “I had at least one professor who made me excited about learning.”
1.6x higher if “I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete.”
1.6x higher if “I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations.”
1.5x higher if “I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom.”
1.4x higher if “I held a leadership position in a club or organization such as student government, a fraternity or sorority, or an athletic team
1.3x higher if “I was a member of a national fraternity or sorority.”
1.2x higher if “I had a paid job or internship.”
The results highlight that the specific experiences an alumni had in college influences their long-term assessment of its impact. These results are in-line with the 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report that showed that the type of school alumni went to — public or private, small or large, very selective or less selective — was far less likely to be related to the quality of alumni’s lives after they graduated than the specific experiences they had in college.
The takeaway is that to maximize the college experience for students, higher education administrators should:
Support and motivate relationships with professors and mentors.
Foster formal and informal mentoring relationships
Help establish quality relationships, rather than simple interactions.
A second part of the 2015 Gallup-Purdue Index report explores the consequences of high student loan debt which is an issue Twokin Consulting will highlight in a future post. The full report is available here.
Twokin Consulting specializes in helping supporting colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations in brainstorming strategies and ideas for improving operations.